Stephen Colbert Is in Hot Water for All Those Kate Middleton Jokes

Surprisingly, the trouble isn’t coming from Kate's side at all as CBS receives a legal notice
Stephen Colbert Is in Hot Water for All Those Kate Middleton Jokes

In the last few days, plenty of people have walked back the jokes they made and rumors they spread about the U.K. royal family’s behind-the-scenes drama, but Stephen Colbert has a little extra explaining to do to a mad marchioness. 

No one who openly mocked Kate Middleton’s mysterious disappearance from the public eye looked good when, this past Friday, the Princess of Wales revealed that she has been fighting cancer while pundits and late-night hosts laugh at her Photoshop mishaps. As is the case anytime a prominent nobleman or noblewoman goes off the grid, the spectacularly clickable speculation cycle over Middleton’s absence from her family’s public engagements dating back to this past Christmastime started in the British tabloids before quickly taking over the attention span of royal-lovers and royal-haters alike in the U.S. As such, every late-night show on American TV spent weeks quipping about Middleton’s curious reclusion, only to be embarrassed by the sobering truth about her non-disappearance.

However, Colbert’s current conundrum wasn’t caused by any of his punchlines targeting Middleton, but by one he made on The Late Show back on March 12th when he repeated the oft-reported rumor that, four years ago, her husband, William, Prince of Wales, engaged in an extramarital affair with Sarah Rose Cholmondeley, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, née Hanbury. This past Tuesday, Hanbury’s lawyers sent a legal notice to CBS that was even longer and more intimidating than her title.

“Im afraid Ive got some troubling news about Englands royal family,” Colbert began of the bit in his March 12th monologue that earned a legal response from across the pond. “The kingdom has been all aflutter by the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton. Well, now internet sleuths are guessing that Kates absence may be related to her husband and the future King of England William having an affair.” 

Then, for the kicker, Colbert, said to his audience, “I think we all know who the alleged other woman is, say it with me, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley!”

Though Colbert never explicitly endorsed the rumor thats haunted the Marchioness and her marriage to David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley since 2019, Hanburys lawyers blamed Colbert for getting the ugly gossip back into headlines, writing in the legal notice, “The rumor appears to have entered into the mainstream media recently as a result of another joke made about it on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. We have written on our client’s behalf to CBS and various other reputable media organizations to confirm that the allegation is false.”

The statement made by Hanburys representatives to In Touch didnt indicate that they will pursue any further legal action, nor would any attempted defamation case likely succeed considering that Colbert didnt state the salacious story as a fact, as he only reported on a rumor that has followed Hanbury around for years. If a strongly worded letter was enough to force people to stop making jokes at your expense, every post office around Elon Musk's mansion would sell out their stamps in an afternoon.


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